The SIGNAL Blog
LandWarNet closed with a keynote address by Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff. Outlining his views on command and control, the general noted that the Army is in a critical time of transformation and conflict. He added that the service has undergone rapid change during the last eight years.
The general noted that a critical lesson learned from the past several years is that vital technological and operational changes are made on the ground by soldiers at the tip of the spear. More data is now available to warfigthers than ever before, but it must be made available to a variety of personnel across all echelons, he said.
If the sharing of battlefield information had not been managed properly, it would have crippled the Army's operational efforts, Gen. Chiarelli shared. However, he credits the success of systems such as FBCB2 and the Command Post of the Future (CPOF) for providing soldiers with increased situational awareness. The tactical ground reporting system (TIGR), is making its way to troops in the field. It is a virtual notebook designed to provide soldiers and commanders with data and information to make more efficient decisions.
But despite these developments, there have been challenges. The general noted that communications personnel resisted the development and deployment of command and control systems such as FBCB2, CPOF and TIGR. He added that the Army also takes a "cookie cutter" approach to computer security and warned that it is individual soldiers who suffer from bad decisions and lack of foresight about the implications of some policies.
BAE Systems National Security Solutions has been awarded a $7 million contract. The purpose of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) Urban Reasoning and Geospatial Exploitation Technology (URGENT) Phase two program is to extend accuracy and productivity to human geospatial analysts by advancing the state of the art in automated scene analysis.
L-3 Communications' Systems Field Support division was awarded a 60-day base contract with eight option years from the U.S. Air Force to serve as prime contractor on the T-1A Contractor Logistics Support program. The total value of the contract with all options is $680 million.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Army to finalize development of its Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) Mobile Basic system, specifically for the Army's emerging Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). Valued at $296 million, this continuation development contract covers a total performance period of 30 months.
Wednesday's events at LandWarNet began with a talk by Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, NATO supreme commander transformation, and commander U.S. Joint Forces Command. The general opened by saying he is passionate about command and control (C2), but added that C2 is an important capability that extends beyond technology. "No matter how brave your soldiers are, they're going to catch RPG's in the chest if you don't get C2 correctly," he cautioned.
The general noted that C2 is commonly seen as a technology subject, but there is a critical human aspect to it. He said his goal is to refine and define C2 problems and to solve them because C2 is the glue that holds military, intelligence and civilian government agencies together. It is essential that command and control is done right, he said.
Citing the approach taken at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA, the general sees C2 as a leader-centric practice. He emphasized that C2 implies trust. This trust is especially true on the battlefield where commanders must rely on their subordinates. Gen. Mattis notes that decentralized command speeds action by allowing field officers to exercise their initiative. But he adds that training and education is key to achieving this goal.
The stars were in perfect alignment or it was the perfect storm of open schedules. Call it what you will, but when technology assessors and warfighters meet for one week in one place, the results are the same: a mutual learning experience that will benefit warfighters on the front lines.
ITT Corporation Electronic Systems Radar Systems - Gilfillan is being awarded a $29 million contract for AN/SPS-48G(V) radar modification kits to support the recovery obsolescence availability radar used to enhance launch on search capability aboard U.S. Navy ships.
Business Technology and Solutions has been awarded a $13.4 million contract for a technical and acquisition management support program to provide a range of diverse nonengineering, technical and acquisition management support required in the acquisition, development, production and support of equipment and weapon systems within the Air Armament Center and other organizations at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.